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NE motor experts rue Ambassador's demise

GUWAHATI: Four years ago, the makers of the Ambassador met members of the North East Motor (Sports) Association (NEMA) for opinion on how to sell the iconic car to younger buyers. At a session held on September 25, 2010, members of the association stressed on retaining the vehicle's original design and capitalizing on its retro factor to attract new buyers. Today, nostalgia is all that's left, with India's grand old car making an exit from the markets.

The feedback provided by motor experts from the northeast was even taken into consideration for a short while and a Facebook page called 'Amby Comeback' was created.

"Through a Bangalore-based third party, makers of the Amby took suggestions from various motor vehicle and vintage cars associations across the country. They also took opinion of experts from the northeast," said Sanjeeb Baruah, secretary, NEMA.

The suggestions placed before Hindustan Motors included improving the car's technical feasibility, incorporating in-built air conditioning, reducing corrosion, enhancing efficiency and installing air bags.

"It would have been great if the vehicle had been restyled. New and young drivers would have been attracted. With the car now out of production, it will be valued simply as a symbol of times past," said Baruah.

On May 24, Hindustan Motors suspended assembly line production of the vehicle at its Uttarpara factory in West Bengal due to escalating debt, lack of demand among vehicle buyers and stiff competition in the automobile industry.